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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  October 27, 2009 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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at the strip club. did you see that? >> yes, they won best topless club in dallas, for instance. they won that. >> it's quite a place, rachel. and you're invited anytime. >> and they have a welcome home, mr. president from the lodge t-shirt. thanks, kent. see you tomorrow night. "countdown" with keith olbermann starts right now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? the final betrayal. joe lieberman sells out to the insurance companies that own connecticut. he'd hate to be the one who kills reform, but i will try to stop the passage of the bill. he has at least three times voted against filibusters. even though aides insist he'll
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vote with the democrats to allow health care reform to be debated. literman appears to be ready to vote far filibuster against the public option. >> i'm sure he'll have some interesting things to do in the way of amendments, but joe lieberman is the least of harry reid's problems. >> joe lieberman, putting the con back in connecticut. with howard fineman and senator ron wyden of oregon. the republicans answer, congressman brown of georgia, a physician submits a bill to privatize medicare. and bring back leetchs. saving a few billion. he's totally wrong. the independent research, our health care system in fraud and mistakes and inefficiency wastes at least $505 billion a year. the republican civil war. the battle for lake ontario. gop candidate versus conservative candidate. and newt gingrich is offended by all the carpet baggers. >> so i say to my many
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conservative friends who suddenly decided t, whether they're from minnesota or alaska or texas, they know more than the upstate new york republicans? i don't think so. >> so, newt, you're what? from beautiful downtown calcium, new york? the truth is out there. michellebackman used to be the nany for gretchen karlson? the revelation george w. bush was a star of "24." he summoned them to ask when are you coming out of the coma. i'm just relieved to know that mr. bush didn't think "24" was a documentary. >> get fooled, you can't fool me again. good evening from new york. we are just days now from history in the making. both the house and senate expected in the next week or so to begin debating on sweeping revolutionary changes to the entire u.s. health care system.
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changes voters endorse in poll after poll including the one last election day. in the fifth story, one man said he will stand and thwart history in the making. that, former democrat joseph lieberman, independent. from the voters anyway. not so much from traveler's insurance or aetna or cigna or hartford or the other insurance companies carteled in his state. he will break ranks from democrats and give the republicans the one extra vote they need for an up or down vote with a public option of a government run insurance alternative. here's in essence whatterman said. to begin debate, democrats need 60 votes. lieberman said he will back democrats and allow the debate to begin. when democrats try to end debate, and hold a vote, the republicans will filibuster, prolonging debate indefinitely, stalling the vote into infinity. on that vote, he says he will side with the republicans,
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denying americans an up or down vote on a health care plan that includes the public option even though his home state has a public option that covers 10,000 of its citizens. lieberman was forgiven by democrats and allowed to serve as a chairman after he tried to elect john mccain as president. harry reid was asked about it and after the debate starts, the bill may change enough that lieberman's position on it would change as well. >> i have the greatest confidence in joe lieberman's ability as a legislature. he will work with us when this gets on the floor. i'm sure he'll have interesting things to do in the way of amendments. joe lieberman is the least of harry reid's problems. >> lieberman today explained his opposition saying the public option would be too costly. in fact, it would be paid for by premiums. according to the cbo, the congressional budget office, it would actually save tax payers
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$100 billion. two months ago, lieberman offered different rationales including its supposed unpopularity with the public, except a new nbc news poll today finding 73% of americans think people should have a choice of a public option. in his own state, 68% favor the public option, including 83% of democrats, 73% of independents. and all those republicans already have one. but his own state has other constituents, bigger people, if you will. connecticut is insurance company ground zero. lieberman has more than $1 million the last five years from the health insurance and medical sectors. a million that we know of. if senator lieberman hopes to fend off republican attack, those republicans had another message. a message essentially admitting defeat, admitting the republicans can't defeat the public option in an up or down low so they'll attack anyone who allows it to be debated upon, let alone voted upon. >> at some point, the majority
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leader will move to proceed to the bill. and i think it's appropriate to make the point at the outset that a vote on cloture on a motion to proceed to this bill will be treated as a vote on the merits of the bill. i think we all remember the kerry campaign, and we all remember the difficulty of explaining to our constituents why we are for something before we were against it. >> we're joined by senator ron wyden, the democrat of oregon. senator, thanks again for your time tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> how many more times can he spit in your party's face before democrats say no more? >> keith, first of all, there's a long, long tradition of united states senators saying no until about five minutes before they say yes. as harry reid indicated, this debate is just starting. what we're going to do is focus on an issue that you and i feel strongly about. that's holding insurance
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companies accountable. making sure that all americans have a chance to be part of a more competitive system that allows them to get a good break on their insurance. that's what we are going to zero in on the days ahead. >> the implication in what both mr. lieberman and to a greater degree leader reid said was that the bill might change in a direction more favorable to mr. lieberman. do you think it's true and do you think it's a good idea? >> i want to make a change in the direction to something more favorable to the consumer. i think harry reid did the right thing yesterday, but i continue to be concerned about the public option being set up to fail. it's going to be set up of a lot of sick people. it's going to be a risky risk pool. some people are going to opt out. i just want to make sure that we have a chance to ensure there's real competition in the health care system, not just 10% of
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people trying to hold the insurance industry accountable. >> what are you going to do to push forward? >> i'm going to continue to work with senator reid. i said i'm concerned about the prospect of a risk pool made up of sicker people, folks who are unemployed, uninsured, underinsured. these are folks, keith, who won't have had check-ups. they won't have had preventive care. they won't have had good chronic care. it's a risk pool as i look at it today that no commercial insurer would possibly accept. what we have to do is have bigger risk pools, a healthier mix of individuals in the pool. that's the way i'm going to push and in the days ahead, the focus ought to be at the grassroots level getting a better deal for the consumer, holding the insurance companies accountable. >> what do you make of the minority leader's threat? senator mcconnell spent the beginning of this century demanding up and down votes, as
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if each one were the end of the world if they didn't et it? >> my sense is that everybody is going to have to be able to describe what they are for, not what they are against. i think a lot of republican, for example, when go to the floor and say everybody ought to have choices like members of congress, i think it's going to be hard to say no to. what we are going to focus on is every member of the united states congress in washington, d.c. has access to more than a dozen choices. the way the bill is written today, if your insurance company is abusing you, they won't pay a claim for a covered service, they get no choice at all. i'm going to go to the floor and make sure all americans get public choices and private choices like members of congress. >> last question. do you think the president is still staying out of this? if so, why? is it appropriate given the amount of pressure he might be able to exert upon or chips he might be able to play with senator lieberman? '. >> the president is not at all removed from this debate. he and his team are very
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involved. he's picking his spots.talked t times the last few days. what we are all going to do is put the focus where it ought to be, holding the insurance companies accountable. i don't want to have, for example, a public option, an insurance lobbyist's dream that's set up to fail. we want to keep pushing. the president will help as well for the risk pool to hold the insurance companies accountable and a healthy mix of americans who can get at the public option and private choices. >> good luck with that. senator wyden of oregon, as always, thanks for your time. >> thank you. let's turn to howard fineman, senior washington analyst and correspondent for "newsweek" magazine. >> hi, keith. >> lieberman was dead in the water with his own voters before today. they overwhelmingly support the option. now, he goes public saying he will block a vote on the public option? i don't know enough about
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politics to really say i know everything here, but it seems to me this is a little akin to saying, i don't care if you elect me again. >> well, he's not just under water, he's now dived to the bottom of the river. but he figures he can bob to the surface again by 2014. don't forget, he's not a democrat. that's number one. number two, as you pointed out, the insurance industry is one of the most powerful business groups in his state. he's taken a lot of money from them. they hate the public option in its pure form, or any form for that matter. i think he's open to negotiate. what the democrats on the hill tell me and what harry reid's office tells me is they are going to try to deal with lieberman and try to make deals with half a dozen or more senators. but lieberman has pushed himself to the front of the line to make sure that his people back in connecticut get taken care of. >> all right. his corporations in connecticut get taken care of. >> yeah.
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>> what does he want, a pony? >> what he wants is to water the public option down until it's completely insignificant. make it opt-out -- make it opt-in, not opt-out. make it a trigger you can't pull, on and on and on and on. then, maybe, in his good graces, he might vote for the final version. anyway, that's harry reid's hope. >> do you agree with senator wyden, the president is not hands off here or he's picking his spots or just letting the -- still letting congress take the lead on this in terms of it's relevance to the elections next year or what's going on at work here? >> he's making calls behind the scene. rahm emanual are minute-by minute. the president is reluctant to
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come out forcefully for a specific final menu in his plan. all the polls about who supports what are hard to interpret other than the one that says when you ask it straight, do you think there should be a public option on the menu? there's strong support for that. there's strong support for other individual pieces. the president is unwilling to commit to a specific menu and say this is my exact final version of the plan. his whole strategy is not to do that until the very last minute. why? because i think he doesn't want to fail. i think he wants it to be the deal that he seals when he actually emerges like the cuckoo clock at the end. the risk with that is by the time he comes out there and, you know, announces the hour, it may
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be too late. >> senator wyden said you can't be forever just the party of no on this issue, you have to stand for something. we'll get to the paul brown later in the show, but were we not supposed to have a bill from the republican leadership by now? what would be the hold-up? >> oh, my gosh. the hold up is they were never going to offer one. they were never going to offer one. i cover the hill from left to right and back. it's been embodied by mitch mcconnell, who's a master at playing the parliamentary game. and a political one, frankly. he's a very tough tus customcus politically. and they're already gearing up their flip-flop ads as they're talking about. and he's going to saga, make my day. it's up to the president to call mitch mcconnell on it. if the president can't call own
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mitch mcconnell, then they deserve to lose the next time around. he's not going to offer anything. harry reid thinks he's going to get the bill on the floor. maybe. but, even that isn't a certainty. if he gets it up there, the republicans delay, delay, delay, they sate's for ideological reasons. maybe so, but it's really hardball politics they're playing looking forward to next year. >> howard fineman, great, thanks. >> thank you, keith. the irony is that it's obscured a remarkable development in the goal to pay for the health care upon which the vast majority of americans insist. that crazy obama idea that most of the costs could be eliminating by $450 billion in waste in the system. an independent study shows that implying that number, the president was wildly conservative. (announcer) there are engines...
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the money wasted in the health care system, using tests and drugs, defensive medicine, $800 billion per year. when the president said cutting out waste for reform, he was underestimating it. later, george w. bush and his topic, dog pop. finally, something he is an expert on. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 yeah, i know what you mean... tdd# 1-800-345-2550 when my broker said, "i make money when you make money," tdd# 1-800-345-2550 he neglected to mention tdd# 1-800-345-2550 he also makes money when i lose money, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 withdraw money or do nothing with my money. tdd# 1-800-345-2550
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president obama has often said eliminating waste and inefficiency could pay for a health care reform package. critics said there could not be that much waste. in our fourth story of the "countdown" a remarkable
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independent study not only proves obama, but shows that he may have vastly underestimated how much waste there is. they waste at least $505 billion, perhaps $850 billion every year. this is according to an independent study by thompson-routers. the vice president of health care analysis for that group saying, that's one-third of the nation's health care bill. the good news is by attacking waste, we can reduce health care costs without adversely affecting the quality of care or access to care. other findings from the study, 37% of waste, $200 billion to $300 billion a years from unnecessary care, like the overuse of antibiotics or lab tests to protect, in part, against malpractice exposure. 22% of wealth care waste is by fraud. 18% comes from administrative inefficiency and redundant paper work. 11% from medical mistakes 6% to
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preventible diseases like diabet diabetes. all this explains why the u.s. spends more on health care than any other nation. the average u.s. hospital spends a quarter of its budget on billing and administration. it's about twice as much as canadian hospitals do. let's turn to the director of the national nurses organizing committee, rosanne demoro. >> thank you for having me on. >> that's how much we are wasting. how much can we stop wasting and feedback into paying for reform? >> hopefully, we can cut it by 80% or so. the biggest perpetrator is the system we have. the fraud is, you know, the insurers taking an illegitimate cut. they are a fraud in the system. it's something not being discussed. ultimately, what are we paying
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for for insurance? basically a middleman. we like to say that, they take 30% off the top of every one of our dollars. this is our hard-earned dollars. even the mafia doesn't take that much off the top. >> vegas is limited to 18%. >> it's outrageous. >> one figure really, really jumps out. 37% comes from unnecessary treatment. this is the explanation for avoiding medical malpractice, but it's not just that. sack saar doctors i've talked to go for tests they don't really need because it's a way to get people in and out of their office faster. and it's one of the few ways they have of increasing their revenues is to see more patients. and if you have a half an hour conversation or a test that's done somewhere else, or a preliminary antibiotic that's done somewhere else, that saves them half an hour and doubles their, you know, the people who use the turnstile. it's not just a question of tort reform here, correct?
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>> what is torte reform? it's red meat for the right wing to say people shouldn't have the right to sue when something harms a patient. the lawyers are vilified while, in fact, scamming the system by providers and insurers is why there's so much fraud. i mean, it's just outrageous. part of what you talked about, part of the study is the fact that, you know, medicare fraud, right. what is that? it's insurers and providers scamming the system to make more money. there's so many profit centers in this industry. the insurance industry. you are talking about fraud of $80 billion. the insurance -- the pharmaceutical industry made $77 billion in profit last year. $77 billion. i look at individuals and the nurses every day, every shift and every hour look at the patients in the hospitals. those that didn't get the care they need. 45 million uninsured, that's fraud.
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44,000 people who die every year from lack of care. that's fraud. i mean, you know, how we define this. we really wish the obama administration would step up to the plate. the problem here is the money in politics. this industry, health care is the number one spender in lobbying. ultimately, if you want a good job, go to work for the health care industry and lobby on the hill. that's where this begins and ends. we appreciate your show. you are always looking for the solution. if we could take co-pays and buy our own politicians. it's what it is. we are paying for it. we are paying through premiums. almost one out of five patients is denied care. so, we are paying the premiums, we're denied care, they are taking our dollars, and pocketing, sending it to washington, d.c. to buy off our politicians. every politician in that building, every politician in
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congress knows the solution. medicare for all obviously the most efficient. the highest quality. it's not where they want to go. they want the public option. it's the private option we have a problem with. every day and every shift, patients are dying unnecessarily. >> when you mention fraud, there's the fraud of every cancelled policy and every suddenly established pre-existing condition. the executive director of the california nurse's association. >> thank you, keith. >> great thanks to you. >> he did not call her out by name, but when newt gingrich chided a republican from alaska for intervening in a civil war between a gop candidate and a conservative party candidate in upstate new york, i don't think he met ted stevens. the republicans meet their waterloo. although waterloo, new york, is n not actually in the 23rd congressional district.
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>> bests in a moment. we elected gretchen karlson's nany to congress. our guest here shares a birthday with gongster john and dick trickle. he does. happy birthday. let's play odd ball. we begin in china. these high wire artists are practicing their craft while
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scaring the crap out of everybody who watches. the high wire magic begins. how is he doing? i don't want to look. one guy balances blindfolded. the teacher lays down and calls it agent. show off. what keeps a man focused like this, you wonder? probably not the desire no to plummet 1,600 feet to his death. just a guess. they do it in australia, too. go goodday, bruce. hot enough to boil a monkey's bum in here. would you like orange juice with your fear of heights? it's here. thousands of locals toss a shrimp on the barbee. the har bower -- harbour bridge was closed for traffic.
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most enjoyed the dining experience. they gave it a ten. the amenities got zero and that guy passed out. republican civil war continues. newt gingrich called out sarah palin. if not by name, by geography. best persons in the world. number three, one of our justices brains may be missing. he told an audience being an originalist, he rejects everything not written in the constitution by the framers. the evolutionists use an approach that's equivalent to close your eyes and decide what you think is a good idea. kings can do good stuff the democratic society could never do. hitler made a wonderful automobile. what does that prove? that you're the worst supreme court judge ever? i don't know. you're the one that brought up hitler. dateline two new york, best meltdown. lou dobbs after being called out for being the bigot that he is by geraldo rivera. >> i'm just still fuming over
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something that geraldo rivera said. he's nothing but a figment of his own imagination and a figment of whatever he sees in the mirror . but, i have to tell you, the guy is so annoying, i should not let people get to me like this. but, you know, i'm starting to get short of patience with him. he wouldn't know a fact if it hit him in the rear end. that would probably be an appropriate place if you wanted him to absorb the information. this is the kind of vile stupidity and ignorance he spews everywhere he goes. that kind of clear and compelling fact-based argument, it's a mystery why cnn sank to last place, isn't it? and number one best revelation. george will in a profile on michelle bachmann writes, as a
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teenager in minnesota, she was a nanny for gretchen carlsson. today, she's an honors graduate, host of fox and friends on the fox news channel. see how fast they plan? not far enough to make sure her nanny would have credibility and making sure you didn't waste your skill defending michelle bachmann and fox news. [ fema] for a clean and healthy mouth, there's crest pro-health multi-protection rinse. it provides
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literally from mexico to philadelphia. all the political talk is about the special election in the 23rd district of new york state, that's mexico, new york and philadelphia, new york. it turns out only some politics is local. the conservative wing of the gop do not like the local parties pick for congress. they, instead, support a candidate that appears to know not much about the local issues. the third story, the gop battle
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for hearts and minds in upstate new york as the republican party moves its civil war up north, to the three-way special election causing the gop to implode, at least in small measure. there's democrat bill owens. the democrat has not won in the northern part of this district since the 19th century, but it seems like he has a pretty fair shot of ending that losing streak because of gop in-fighting. enter the republican candidate. apparently she's not republican enough for concerned upstate new york residents like alaska's sarah palin and minnesota governor tim pawlenty.
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new york is big, but this is ridiculous. they support doug hoffman who doesn't live in the district he hopes to represent. he's collected endorsements and failed presidential candidates, fred thompson. a recent meeting of the watertown daily times said he was unable to articulate clear positions on matters. the daily times reports he would only speak in general terms and could not answer questions about local projects. he objected to the heated questioning saying he should be provided a list of questions he would be asked. he was. to mr. hoffman's rescue, current lead tea baggist, dick army scratching his head over why constituents would be more interested in, say, the st. louis -- lawrence seaway. he dismissed it as parochial and said the lack of knowledge would not determine the outcome of the election. newt gingrich last night, called out the possible 2012 rivals for going rogue on their own party. parties. >> so i say to my many conservative friends who decided
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whether from minnesota, alaska or texas, they know more than the upstate new york republicans? i don't think so. i don't think it's a good precedent. if this third-party candidate takes away just enough votes to elect a democrat, we will have strengthened nancy pelosi by the divisiveness. we will not have strengthened the conservative movement. time to be joined by mark -- margaret carlson. good evening. >> good evening, keith. >> i'm fascinated by the use of dick armey's adjective. the residents concerns are parochial. aren't they supposed to be? >> if i'm parochial, it's nice to be on set with you in new york state. >> thank you very much. >> no one cares what doug hoffman thinks about afghanistan. maybe not even socialism, as you say. you know, the lower -- the more local the office the more you need to know, actually. a presidential candidate, you know, they are talking in broad
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strokes. >> macro. >> you are running for mayor, they want to know a lot about what you are going to do about milk price supports and what's going on in the st. lawrence seaway and what's going on down the street at the vfw. that's what they want to know. newt gingrich said that's exactly what you should be doing. after launching the campaign for the governor of pennsylvania, we all forget about it. i pulled it off the website about dredging it. he thought i was -- i had made up a word. he didn't know what it was. >> in fairness, he is a football player. >> some football players made decent politicians. >> he might have taken a few bad hits. >> gingrich and palin and pa lenity complaining more local control in government is not really being represented by the
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idea you would go against the local republican party. are we gets a sense it's not an issue of local control, it's a brand name that sounds good? >> it sounds good. newt gingrich used to not feel that way. this is sarah palin's first foray. she quit being governor to do this. she finished writing the book. she does it from the comfort of her laptop. and her facebook account. however, she inserted herself. while she may not have a big army, she has a fervent one. it's completely upended the race. in one poll, doug hoffman is actually ahead. she has her greek chorus with rush limbaugh and glenn beck. >> these broadcasts came out of
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ice station. it's not a fight of who is leading -- which way the republican party is going to go philosophically. this is, i'm sarah palin and my influence should be bigger than newt gingrich, isn't it? that's what it boils down to? >> it did turn into a fight between the two of them. who knew that newt gingrich would toy with the idea of running for president. so actually, he's taking the bigger picture. we are all republicans. i never thought i would hear newt gingrich arguing for a bigger tent. he was not the guy who wanted to do anything with a bigger tent when he was king of the hill. >> is there enough time -- he didn't call her out by name, he called her out by state. is there enough time left that the knife comes unsheathed and he takes down sarah palin? >> i suspect you hope so, keith. >> just asking. just an interested observer. >> it would be good for the show. >> they seem to be doing a lot of things that are good for the show.
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i'm not trying to tell them their business. >> you are not wanting for topics. remember the conservative crack up? we have had several. one was after gold water lost. a lot of it played out in the midterm elections. had it not been for the democrats screwing up, i doubt that in '70 nixon would have won. as this plays out, we will see the knife fight between newt gingrich and sarah palin. they are now two distinct wings of the republican party. >> maybe not today or tomorrow, but for the rest of the current presidential. >> thank you, keith. >> thanks for coming in. george w. bush, motivational speaker. revealing the inspiration he drew and you can draw from dog poop. speaking of which, the republican solution to too much health care reform?
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one congressman's bill to privatize medicare. worst persons ahead. and when rachel joins at the top of the hour, senator lieberman held zells out his constituents to side with the insurance companies that bought and paid for him. jane hampshire is rachel's special guest. it's gmc truck month. shop sierra 1500 slt with the 403 horsepower 6.2 liter v8. it's the most powerful half ton v8 in its class. step up to the best. it's gmc truck month. get 0% apr for 60 months on 2009 gmc sierra or get $6,000 total cash back on select 09 sierra 1500 extended and crew cabs in stock. see your gmc dealer today.
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a republican congressman who wants to hand off medicare to private insurance companies, tonight's worst persons derby next. and then two george bush head lines. he has invoked white house dog poop and the president was a big fan of the series "24" but did not think it was a reality show. probably.
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>> joorj w. bush was enough of a fan of "24" to ask one of his stars if his character would ever come out of his coma. guy could have asked it back, couldn't he? gene robinson on that next, but first, for number two's story, tonight's worst persons to the world. bronze to rupert murdoch's "new york post." they either made a lazy error of fact or they deliberately lied in noting that cnn slipped to last among viewers 25 to 54 and our rerun was not beating "anderson cooper's live." the post created a new rating statistic. the combined audience for cnn and headline news would equal 421,000 viewers, leapfrogging
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msnbc into second place. well, by the same token if you combined msnbc with that of nbc news, the combined number would be an elephant and bill o'reilly would be a pimple. but you can't do that. also in the article, msnbc was third with an average nightly audience of 250,000. in fact, we're second, as the post pointed out elsewhere in its own article. a lot is made and rightly so that the entire murdoch organization from top to bottom is corrupted by its duties as a home for political leg breakers but overlooked is how entities like fox, or the new york post are wildly, sloppily, unjournalistically just plain old factually wrong. the runner-up, david limbaugh, brother of orally tates limbaugh, writing for that obama's war on fox is liberalism's war on dissent. can you imagine the outrage that would have ensued if george w. bush cut off those that were
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against him. since he was in the country, let me read the list again. bush cut off nbc. had them threaten to back out of a tom brokaw debate. planted questions and a fake reporter in the news conferences and threatened to prosecutor reporters from "the new york times." the obama administration has done nothing of the sort. congressman from georgia. health reform will kill people and destroy freedoms, he's introduces a reform that would privatize medicare, hand it over to the insurance cartel. on a lighter side of this, perhaps the moron who shouted at congressman bob ingless said it best, keep your government hands off my medicare. on the darker side, congressman brown, you are supposed to be a doctor, not a streetwalker for the insurance cartel.
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i don't think you should resign your seat. i think you should return your license. congressman paul brown of georgia you recollect today's worst person in the world. would you like to go for a ride on that bike ? ok ! ok. whoooa, heyyy ! see, the terms require that you keep the bike within this pre-determined space. if you want to take the bike out, i'm going to have to charge you a penalty. i can't really ride in this little space. you can't ride very far. even kids know an offer shouldn't come ha, ha, ha... with ridiculous conditions. why don't banks ?
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at ally bank our 9-month no penalty cd gives you a great rate with no fees for early withdrawal. it's just the right thing to do.
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69,456,897 people voted for the democratic candidate in 2008. so, george w. bush is motivational. our number one story, back on the old political merry-go-round. last night, the president motivated a much smaller crowd. today, we learned the torture president was tortured over a plot twist in a tv show about torture. no media allowed during yesterday's get motivated business seminar. more than 10,000 people were jazzed up about the likes of
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colin powell, hrudey giuliani and zig ziegler. the former president motivated the crowd with hits. he talked about his new job as pooper scooper in chief. he got heavy saying i don't see how you can be president without relying on the almighty. dick cheney? i can tell you one of the most amazing surprises of the presidency, was the fact that people's prayers affected me. i can't prove it to you, some days great, some days not so great, but every someday was joyous. he then pranced around the stage hooting to tina turner's song "simply the best" which was apparently for zig ziegler. the show "24," one of the shows actors telling about his meeting with mr. bush while he was still president. they were both at the same baseball game when the president summoned him. t
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the president wanted an inside scoop on the plot line. when are you coming out of the coma. all i can do is watch that show of yours. are you coming back? i'm joined by gene robinson. pulitzer prize winning columnist and political analyst. good evening. >> good evening, keith. >> after the president told him about his nonstop watching of "24," the actor said, you don't have anything better to do? and the answer to that is, of course, what? >> painfully, obvious. let's see. i could go check to see what cheney has been doing today. well, i don't want to know. i could ride the mountain bike more. well, that's too hard. i guess i'll watch more "24" and see if he gets out of the coma. >> are we clear, though? is there actually a silver lining in this where we're clear that he never mistook "24" for some sort of newscast? >> he didn't think it was an
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actual documentry. it's a serious point, actually, keith. this is a story -- it's hollywood mellow dram -- melodrama, fine. they are not supposed to be true. this is a show that glorified torture and that lied about torture, that misrepresented torture. "24," the bomb is always ticking. the terrorist has evil terrorist stencilled on his forehead so you know who he is. you torture him, you get the actionable information, and all is well. obviously, everyone knows it's not the way it works in the real world. one hopes president bush, even knowing it wasn't a documentary didn't -- i hope he didn't get some sort of psychological support or encouragement or validation from watching this nonsense on "24" as he thought about, you know, what he had done in real life, and the
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departure from american values and norms he had taken us on. >> thinking this is a good -- this secure feed from gitmo is really good picture. that looks like that -- that's keifer sutherland guy. a couple years ago, we remember the army general went to "24" and asked them to stop glorifying torture. i gather it didn't work. >> no, it didn't work. it's a poplar show. again, it's entertainment. it was never my cup of tea. people like the show. you have to expect the audience to be able to tell the difference between what's real and what's not real, and given what was going on at the time, i think "24" did blur the lines. and i just hope that it wasn't somehow -- somehow the president didn't draw solace from that, from watching a show that was, again, just made up.
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>> about the speaking engagement in ft. worth. your newspaper had the following to say. looking younger than 63 years, he did not appear to have a theme, but strung anecdotes and jokes together and frequently mentioned his faith in god. so it's exactly the same as he was when he was president? >> it sounds to me as if it's different. if you remember, he couldn't talk. he couldn't string together anything. if he successfully strung together anecdotes and homilies and talked about his faith in god without committing some sort of awful bushism, you know, talking about it's time to catapult the propaganda or something like that, that's one of my favorites. i guess it's totally changed. >> but he talked about dog poop. >> well, there is that. yes. not everything changes. >> i find it reassuring there's


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